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Britain and the Soviet Union: The search for an interim agreement on West Berlin November 1958-May 1960.

Newman, Kathleen Paula (2000) Britain and the Soviet Union: The search for an interim agreement on West Berlin November 1958-May 1960. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis analyses British and Soviet policy towards negotiations on an Interim Agreement on Berlin, from November 1958 until May 1960. It emphasises the crucial role played by the British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan and the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, both of whom viewed the Berlin problem within the wider context of their mutual objectives of achieving detente and disarmament. The opening chapter analyses Soviet motivation for reactivating the Berlin question, and emphasises two factors behind Soviet policy: the maintenance of the status quo in Germany and Eastern Europe, and Soviet fears of the nuclearisation of the Bundeswehr. The next two chapters reassess Britain's response to the Soviet Note of 27 November 1958, the impact of British policy on Berlin on the Western Alliance and the subsequent emergence of a British initiative on Berlin which culminated in Harold Macmillan's visit to Moscow in February 1959. Fresh insights into Soviet policy on Berlin and European Security are offered. The fourth chapter reappraises Macmillan's visits in March 1959 to Paris, Bonn and Washington to persuade his Allies of the benefits of his initiative. This chapter also deals with the British contribution both to the Allied debate on contingency planning for Berlin and to the discussions on Germany, European Security and Berlin, which took place in the Four Power Working Group from January until May 1959. The ensuing chapter analyses British and Soviet attitudes to the East-West negotiations on an Interim Agreement on West Berlin at the Geneva Foreign Ministers Conference, May-August 1959, and considers whether the British Government was correct in its perception that the Soviet Government wished to establish a modus vivendi on Berlin. Chapter six traces the evolution of Soviet and Western policies towards the forthcoming summit conference from August 1959 until May 1960. The final chapter examines Soviet and Western reactions to the U-2 Incident of 1 May 1960 and seeks to demonstrate that Khrushchev left for Paris prepared to negotiate on an Interim Agreement on Berlin, and hopeful that he would achieve the East-West Detente for which he and Macmillan had striven.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, History, European, History, Russian and Soviet
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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